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Iraqi forces 'could declare victory in Mosul within days'

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Iraqi forces 'could declare victory in Mosul within days'
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Residents are fleeing Mosul, ISIL’s last major stronghold in Iraq, as the group battles to hold on to the few streets that remain under its control.

It was there, exactly three years ago, that the jihadists announced the creation of a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria. Now said to have been pushed into an ever-shrinking area beside the Tigris river, they are making what appears to be a last stand amid a fierce onslaught by pro-government forces.

Iraqi authorities say the number of ISIL fighters in Mosul has greatly depleted in the last eight months, so much so that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is expected to travel there in the coming days to declare victory.